The Abyss (1989)


RedBox and Netflix better start picking it up, I’ve got nothing new to watch! Oh well, that doesn’t mean I can’t watch some good movies. With over 1000 movies on my walls, I’m good to go for some time. Today, one of my favorites, The Abyss, starring Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn. Let’s dive right in! Yeah, that’s a pun alright.

The Abyss starts off with a nuclear submarine crashing near some giant chasm in the ocean. Ed Harris’ roughneck team of underwater oil drillers is called in to salvage it. They send down his ex wife (Mastrantonio) and some marines (One of them being Johnny Fuckin’ Ringo himself, Michael Biehn). They salvage the warhead and, while doing so, they see this shiny purple alien thing that looks like a gay nightclub. Then, Biehn starts going Depth Nuts (They have some technically name for it, but I forgot it. Suffice to say the depth makes him nuts) Biehn commandeers the ship and tries to send the warhead down into the trench to destroy the aliens for no reason other than he’s completely depth nuts. Then Ed Harris has to fix it.

I really like this movie. The acting is all pretty solid. Biehn is once again really good at crazy. The slow progression of his depth nutsness is great to watch, even up until the end of it when he’s cutting himself like a melodramatic teenaged girl. Mastrantonio is great in the movie, but I’m confused by her. I assume the 80’s thought she was attractive. Well you get to see her boobs at one point, so there’s that. Also, for Scrubs fans, Dr. Bob Kelso has a brief bit in this movie, though I hadn’t noticed the first time I saw it because I hadn’t seen Scrubs yet. I feel like Harris’ team in this movie could have easily been the inspiration for Bruce Willis’ team in Armageddon, as Armageddon takes the same basic principles. Roughneck group of oil drillers enlisted by the government because they’re the best darn oil drillers ever. Everyone doubts them, but then they end up being better at it than the military. There’s also a fight scene between Biehn and Mastrantonio in these underwater submersibles that is quite possibly the most peaceful chase scene on film.

There is a gripe to be had with the movie though, and that’s the ending, so skip this paragraph until you’ve seen it or decided you don’t care. ::SPOILER ALERT:: So the entire movie is this really claustrophobic movie with the tension building and building between the drillers and the depth nuts that kind of comes to a head with the defeat of Biehn, but then it goes on a little more till Harris has to go disarm the nuke that Biehn sent after the aliens. He does and is fixing to die at the bottom of the abyss and is then rescued by the aliens, who basically show him they were about to lay the smackdown on humanity for all our feudin’ and a fussin’, but they decide not to because Harris said he loved his wife when he was about to die. So it’s totally Deux Ex Machina with a little ham-fisted “No more war” message tacked on at the very end.

That all being said, I still dig this movie. I give it a “Watch them shits” out of 568.

6 responses to “The Abyss (1989)

  1. Dude, you over used the phrase “Depth Nuts” Ebert and Roeper you are not. Also not to be critical, but you didn’t really convey the awesomeness of the movie AND surprisingly left out the use of ambionic fluid as a means to sustain life underwater. I read that whole review waiting for the “Ed Harris breathes baby juice” line. Maybe review just funny movies OR movies that need to be mocked like Soul Plane. I don’t think I could read the Robert Bicket review of “Schindler’s List”.

    • I’m not claiming to be Ebert or Roeper. I have my lower jaw. Also, I’m just trying to review one movie a day and whatever I watch. I watched The Abyss and didn’t have much to say beyond “I liked it” and “Depth Nuts”. They ain’t gonna all be winners. The purpose is to practice, so I’m sure they’ll GET better, but I don’t need them to be there just yet. And I will absolutely mock awful movies when I watch them, but as I didn’t have anything from Netflix or RedBox, I hadta watch movies I own, which generally aren’t that crappy.

  2. You forgot about the parting of the water like the red sea, and seeing the whale through the water wall. Keep in mind that Cameron is going to throw is some sort of alien/war is bad sentiment into his movies. Except titanic, bc that was just meant to torture girls with tears til the end of days.

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